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Brixham Breakwater
Brixham, Torbay, Devon, UK
associated engineer
James Meadows Rendel
date  1843, 1909, 1912 - 1916
era  Victorian  |  category  Breakwater  |  reference  SX927571
ICE reference number  HEW 1487
Brixham Harbour benefits from the natural shelter of Torbay and nearby Berry Head. However, increasing trade at the port meant that the old pier (1804) did not provide sufficient safe haven for vessels. Brixham Breakwater was built to provide shelter larger ships.
The breakwater was built under the provisions of the Haven & Market Improvement Act. In The mid 19th century, Brixham had rail access to London, which meant that fresh fish could be transported quickly to the capital, making it a good place to anchor for fishing vessels.
The breakwater is an elongated rubble mound, faced with jointed masonry on its seaward side. Limestone blocks for it were quarried from Berry Head and deposited in the bay. It was designed by James Rendel, and a length of 427m was constructed in 1843. Work continued until money ran out that same year.
However, even this short breakwater provided valuable shelter and in 1862 it was recorded that the port had some 100 vessels registered there.
By the 20th century, more money had been raised, and in 1909 a further 183m were added to the breakwater at a cost of 23,000. Between 1912 and 1916, another 305m were completed at a cost 40,000.
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH South

Brixham Breakwater